Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I developed an interest in Psychology throughout my undergraduate degree, and specifically became enthusiastic about research and teaching. Pursuing a doctorate in Psychology was the perfect next step to continue research and prepare myself for a career of research/teaching in Psychology!
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I was very interested in the work of my prospective supervisor at UBC, as well as the research focus of our Health Psychology Area more broadly which has a lot of overlapping (yet original and distinct) work that creates opportunities for collaboration and learning from others’ methods/approaches. UBC has one of the best psychology departments in the world and maintains a friendly and generous environment for graduate students!
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Psychology Department at UBC offers a strong research emphasis and encourages collaboration between labs, which is in line with my career goals (research in psychology) and plans for graduate studies. As a bonus, Vancouver is an amazing place to live!
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The beautiful summer weather and all of the great places to run and spend time in nature – Vancouver is stunning!
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I worked in several labs with diverse interests as an undergraduate and received excellent training and mentoring in all of them. Undergraduate research (particularly, doing a thesis project with Dr. Kate Kuhlman and Dr. Julienne Bower) was what best prepared me for a research-focused graduate program. I also spent time as an undergraduate engaging in related work (e.g., volunteering, teaching, peer coaching/counselling) to help me narrow and refine my interests.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
I would advise establishing routines as early as possible (ideally at the start of grad school) to maintain a good balance of productivity and self-care! It is easy to get caught up in work and deadlines, but keeping an emphasis on physical/mental health is just as important. There is always something you could be working on, so if you don’t intentionally schedule/plan time off, it won’t happen. There is more to life than graduate school!